When you think of tailgating food, a bowl of pasta isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But why not? Pasta can easily feed a large crowd, is easy to transport and has a wide variety of flavors that you can add to it. For this version, Sally has created a dish with Surryano Hamas the store. What is Surryano you ask? It is serrano style ham made in Surry County Virginia. It is delicious substitute for any case when meal where you would use prosciutto or serrano ham. Here Sally will show you how to make her Tailgate Bucatini with Surryano Ham.
Tailgate Bucatini with Surryano Ham
1 pkg Bucatini (about 17.5 oz.)
1/2 cup olive oil (best if drained from 8,5 oz. jar of sundried tomatoes w/ olive oil and herbs)
3 T. chopped garlic
4 T. unsalted butter
1 can (28 oz.) good quality diced tomatoes
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. Tabasco
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups reserved pasta cooking water
1/2 cup chopped shallots
1/2 cup chopped red onion
3 oz Surryano Ham cut into thin strips
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups grated white cheddar cheese
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
DAY BEFORE TAILGATE.
Cook pasta in boiling salted water.When pasta is just before al dente. remove 1 1/2 cups of pasta water and reserve. Drain pasta and set aside to cool.Place cooked cooled pasta in sealable container and refrigerate until needed. It is important that you don’t fully cook your pasta. Stop cooking about 2 minutes before done. You will continue cooking it on site, and if you fully cook it ahead of time, you will end up with overcooked pasta.
While waiting for pasta water to come to a boil, put olive oil in small sauce pan. Add chopped garlic. Warm oil/garlic mixture over low heat. Stir occasionally and let oil cook on low for 30 minutes. Remove from heat. let cool. Strain oil, discarding cooked garlic. Pour oil mixture into sealable container. Add butter, seal container and refrigerate until needed.
In a large sealable container add tomatoes, vinegar, lemon juice, brown sugar, black pepper, red pepper, Tabasco and 1 1/2 cups reserved pasta water. Seal container and refrigerate until needed.
Put shallots, red onion and ham into sealable container and refrigerate until needed.
Put Parmesan into plastic storage bag. Put white cheddar into plastic storage bag. Put basil leaves in plastic storage bag with a slightly damp paper towel crunched into bottom of bag. Seal and refrigerate bags until packing for tail gate.
PUT ALL ITEMS IN COOLER AND HEAD TO TAILGATE. Pack a high sided saute pan or stockpot to cook pasta in. pack propane burner.
AT THE TAILGATE
Put oil and butter into pan and heat over medium heat until butter is melted. Add the shallot,onion and Surryano ham.
Stir. Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes or until onions/shallots are soft.
Add the tomato mixture.
Cook stirring over medium high heat until sauce comes together and thickens a bit, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium and add the pasta. Toss the pasta to coat with the sauce.
Add Parmesan cheese and stir into pasta and sauce mixture. Cook pasta in sauce for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring as needed. Lower heat and layer the shredded white cheddar cheese over the top of the pasta.
Top with pieces of fresh basil and additional black pepper (if desired)
Instead of me always telling you why this would be the perfect food for your tailgate, I’ve decided to let my lovely fiancee tell you:
“I, Sara Moore, am one of the pickiest eaters in the world. There are more foods that I don’t like than do like. When I heard that this recipe had Surryano Ham I was skeptical and somewhat apprehensive to try it. In the end, I mustered up as much bravery as I could and had a bowl of bucatini for dinner. It was such a great decision! This hollow pasta is awesome and the flavors were perfect. About halfway through eating this meal I realized that if I had been served this dinner in a restaurant that I would have been extremely pleased. It was delicious in any setting and with the easy steps below, it really is the perfect easy, yet delicious meal for a tailgate.”